Current water treatment methodologies are not designed to handle emerging contamination threats derived from agricultural run-off, volatile organic compounds, and pharmaceutical residues?advanced methods are therefore needed. Plasma production in liquid water produces a host of advanced oxidation agents that have the capacity to rapidly decompose organic contaminants. The proposed effort investigates a novel method of producing plasma in bubbles immersed in water by driving them at resonance in the presence of an electric field. This effort studies the ignition physics of resonantly driven bubbles, the time evolution of plasma formation in such bubbles, and the chemistry of the active interfacial layer separating the plasma bubble and the liquid water. The understanding gained from these studies will be used to design and build a plasma reactor for the purpose of water purification. As part of the educational outreach thrust of this effort, lab tours and demonstrations will be given to visiting grade school students from programs such as the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program and those sponsored by Women in Science and Engineering, using in-house fabricated plasma demonstration experiments. In addition to sponsoring a student from the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP), a program aimed at encouraging underrepresented students to attend graduate school, we will also integrate plasma demonstrations into the existing educational outreach effort led by the National Society of Black Engineers, which involves actually visiting at risk schools in the area for the purpose of inspiring students with hands on experiments, mini-lessons, and mentorship.

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University of Colorado at Boulder
United States
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